Back on the Journey

Tues 30th December 2014
Sharing the Love within

As I wait (im)patiently for the US government to decide if I will be granted my visa and be able to work, I have been stuck in limbo. My tourist visa has now expired, I can’t leave the country until they make a decision, and I can’t (legally) work in this country until they finally make a decision.

This situation has been getting me down, but in my frustration, I came to the point in which I felt I can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen.

So I have come up with three positive steps forward for 2015 ... and all three appeal to me, so I would very much like to ask for your advice!

Share the Love within

Mon 15th December 2014

watch the full movie here

One word which I have always avoided while creating this site is the word 'God'. This is because 'God' instantaneously conjures up in our minds the philosophies of the world's organised religions. I do not have a problem with religion in and of itself, but I do have a problem with the negative impact that organised religion has on our world

The problem with all organised religions is that they were literally 'formed' by founders who deliberately selected texts and teachings that can be interpreted to support a faith in something that supports their own personal ideologies while at the same time making their formed religion the only correct one - thus separating one religious group from another. This creates bias, prejudice, and misguided morals amongst peoples, and that is most dangerous when those 'peoples' include politicians, police officers, soldiers - anyone with power - because those who enforce that power also enforce their subjectivity and that leads to conflict and ultimately, as we all know, war. 

But this absolutely does not mean that the teachings of religious figures are without value.

As I have previously stated here, all spiritual teachers past and present (and there are a lot of them!) share one basic message so that we may all one day actually act upon it, and that message is that the path to enlightenment (complete awakening and complete joy) is to devote our lives to sharing the love we have within us with ourselves and with others.

Last week I came across two films that made me comfortable with using the word 'God' again when talking about spirituality.

The first is called 3 Magic Words and focuses on the scientific truth that we all come from one Big Bang of energy that created everything, the very particles and atoms that make up everything physical are part of this one holistic energy source that is all connected together, and if everything comes from that one connected holistic energy then we are all the source of creation - we are all God.

If you find that last paragraph hard to swallow, then I encourage you to read an article I wrote on Stephen Hawking and the relationship between spirituality and science here.

The fact is that quantum physicists are now observing what spiritual practitioners have been experiencing for millennia, and as modern science advances, so does public awareness of this fact. It is said that we are heading toward a worldwide conscious shift that will change our planet, and I think this is true. Let me explain why:

You cannot have good without bad, or love without fear, or happiness without sadness. Why? Because one must exist for us to be able to know the other. And right now we are at a point where no one in their right mind would argue that our world is not in big trouble and spiraling ever downwards into an abyss of devastating proportions.

But at the same time, at the other end of this current phenomenon is an ever increasing number of people who are joining together collectively in the masses to demonstrate to the world that love, kindness, and compassion are what will bring out the best of our species - our Higher consciousness.

The second film that I watched is called Living Luminaries, and is truly an amazing piece of work. One man, Sean Mulvihill, asks the question 'what is happiness?' to religious and spiritual leaders, civil rights advocates and activists, and other contemporary thinkers and enlightened teachers. The beauty of this film is that it shows how every person who inspires or influences positive change in this world is saying the same thing!

watch the full movie here

Namely, love - or God - is what resides inside all of us. It is everywhere. In times of trouble, worry, doubt or fear, we may forget that it is there; but in order to make being awakened or full of joy a full time thing, we must consciously evolve into the best of who we are, and we can choose to do this every time that we make a decision by asking ourselves one simple question:

What would love do now?

Going Beyond the Grid

Wed 3rd December 2014
It has been almost 4 months since I last wrote anything about what I have been doing.

My Latin America Adventure ended when I flew from Colombia's capital, Bogota to Los Angeles in the USA because someone had told me about cheap flights just as I was about to leave Colombia. I snapped up a super cheap flight for just $200 and that was that.

This gave me the opportunity to visit my bromance Kai (sorry, I mean Morgan) in his territory. After all, he had visited and lived with me in Europe three times already - in Canterbury, Granada and Dresden.

When I arrived in the USA, I was excited to be heading back onto the grid again, and found it fitting to be making my return into society by also returning into an environment very similar to the one I left behind in Europe.

But initially I found being back in ‘the real world’ really friggin hard! The ‘normal life’ and its routine - people going to work, coming home to dinner, watching TV, going to bed exhausted – and the pressures of earning money to pay for a high cost of living again gave me a sudden culture shock; I had had none of these things in my life for the past year as a recluse in nature. Hell, it was weird enough just being able to flush toilet paper down the toilet again!

It kind of felt like coming back out of a cocoon that I had formed around myself as I began the process of connecting to people as the new me. It was uncomfortable but necessary.

I decided that a fun way to ease my way back into the Western social environment might be to combine time alone in nature with re-connecting with society for a while by both camping and Couchsurfing up the Pacific Coast. My goal was to cycle the 460 miles from Ventura (just north of LA) to San Francisco.

I didn't get very far!

Let me start now by updating you all of you on my shenanigans. If you can be bothered to read the whole thing, prepare for a bloody good long read ....

The Tale of Two Types of Vagabond

Mon 11th August 2014

On Sat 16th August I set off on the 34 mile journey from Ventura to Santa Barbara that takes 40 mins by car.

It took me 2 hours by bicycle to reach small town Carpinteria that neighbours Santa Barbara. I guesstimated that Carpinteria was about 20 miles from Ventura so that meant I was travelling at about 10 miles an hour.

I had no idea if that was good or bad, but I was really pleased to see on Google Maps that the 21 mile journey from Ventura to Carpinteria was estimated at 1 hr 43 mins.

That means that with my small bike and 20 kilo luggage, I am not doing bad at all! In fact, I stopped on the way for a break, so the total travelling time was about spot on!

From Carpinteria to Santa Barbara was another 10 miles and 1 hour cycling, which I was quite prepared to do when I passed an outer-city bus stop beside which 3 Japanese students and a surf board were resting.

I asked them how much the bus was and when they said 1 dollar and 75 cents I decided that at that price, I could give my sore bum a break, and take the bus the rest of the way.

On arrival in Santa Barbara, I asked around for secret camping spots and people recommended taking my chances on the beach where the police sometimes patrol and move you along, sometimes fine you, and sometimes leave you alone.

I didn’t feel like getting woken up in the middle of the night to be moved on so I decided to find a more hidden location. After cycling around searching for a good spot for some time, I ended up coming across a path that entered round the back of the lake by the railroad.

There, I came across one person, a friendly homeless guy called Tom!